After a lifetime of adventure, love and dedication to his family, Stephen Young Winters died Friday (July 6, 2012) at his home after a courageous 2 1/2 year battle with cancer. Steve was born June 14, 1949, in Quincy, a son of Richard M. and Virginia Young Winters. He graduated from Quincy Senior High School in 1967 and from the University of Kansas in 1971 with a bachelor of science degree in English education. Steve joined the J.M. Winters Insurance Agency representing the fourth generation of his family along with his older brother Dick. In 1976, Steve conceived and launched The Abbey, a Quincy tradition at 18th and Spring. He married Teresa Herr on June 7, 1980, and their daughter, Jennifer, was born on April 1, 1981. After an infamous time spent in the fast lane, Steve sold the Abbey in 1984 and was divorced. He moved to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, where he was an eighth-grade English teacher. More importantly, it was there that Steve became involved in AA and regained a drug- and alcohol-free life. He had 26 years of sobriety when he died and leaves a legacy of helping many people in overcoming their addictions. Steve returned to Quincy after Hurricane Hugo struck the islands and arrived just in time to lose his Mississippi River camp in the flood of 1993. A new chapter in his life was started when Steve married Mary Oakley on July 6, 1996. He was a central figure in raising her three sons, Tom, Ben and Jonathan Van Ness. Steve rejoined Winters Insurance in 2004 and headed the group health department. Steve's interests included a lifetime love of the ocean and sailing. He and his brothers grew up boating on the Mississippi and he and brother Mike graduated to the high seas when they purchased and refurbished a 44-foot sailboat named the "Winterhawk." He loved golf and spent countless hours with friends and family perfecting his game. In May of this year, he rushed from his chemo and whole brain radiation treatment on a Thursday afternoon to make his 1 p.m. tee time. Steve had a hole in one that day on #13 at the Quincy Country Club. He received a standing ovation upon arriving in the locker room. Steve also loved Boy Scouting. He became an Eagle Scout at age 15 and was responsible for reinvigorating Quincy's Troop 8 as a Scoutmaster in the late 1970s and started a troop in St. Croix that grew to be the largest on the islands. But the greatest love of Steve's life was his family. He was a dedicated "Poppy" to his five grandchildren and a wonderful husband, father, brother and son. Steve is survived by his wife, Mary; his children and grandchildren, Jennifer Winters Reekie (Kenny) of Quincy and their children Isla, Campbell, Cora and Ailsa; Tom Van Ness (Lesley) of Quincy; Ben Van Ness (Amanda) and their daughter, Olivia, of Bristol, Ind., and Jonathan Van Ness of St. Louis. He is also survived by his brother, Dick (Patti) of Fort Myers, Fla.; his sister, Ann Winters Knapheide (Knap) of Quincy; brother, Mike of St. Louis; three nephews, Bo Knapheide (Erin) of Quincy, Brandon Winters of Las Vegas, Nev., and Richard M. Winters III of Colorado; mother and father-in-law, Tom and Anne Oakley of Quincy; brother-in-law Ralph Oakley (Lisa) of Quincy; and nieces, Allison Oakley Hall (Dustin) of Quincy and Sullivan Oakley of Quincy. He was preceded in death by his parents and a nephew, Ragan Winters Knapheide. The care Steve received from Dr. Raymond Smith and the Blessing Cancer Center was exceptional; and the family is also very thankful for the witness of so many loving Christian friends who encouraged us every day. Through the tragedy of cancer, Steve and his family received an amazing gift of faith and grace. God is good. SERVICES: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in St. John's Anglican Parish, 701 Hampshire, with the Rev. Patrick Smith officiating. Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery. VISITATION: There will be no visitation. Family and friends are invited to join a life celebration at the Quincy Country Club following the burial at Woodland Cemetery. MEMORIALS: St. John's Anglican Parish Children's Ministry or the Saukee Area Boy Scouts of the Mississippi Valley. ARRANGEMENTS: Hansen-Spear Funeral Home. WEBSITE: www.hansenspear.com. Condolences may be expressed online at www.whig.com.
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Published in Quincy Herald-Whig from July 8 to July 10, 2012